HOWEVER. I will not let you down, I can definitely squeeze in an incoherent twenty minute. You are going to be so glad I did.
I went to London for all of 36 hours this week. It was filled with goodness, though also filled with water falling mysteriously from the sky, darkness, and biblical thunder. I was cold and underdressed for all 36 hours, my bare pasty legs puzzling pretty much everyone, including me. I was out of practice at important things such as not establishing eye contact on public transport, and stringing together a conversation with someone other than myself, but this did not stop me having a lovely time. Apart from that, the following:
- a visit to Cybercandy in Covent Garden for small boy appeasing. I bloody love that place. I bought an Oreo Chunky KitKat for myself, as well as a range of peculiar Japanese tat for the small boys. Eating an Oreo Chunky KitKat, it transpires, is a bit like eating a pasta sandwich: extraneous. But with added diabetes. It is not a patch on the much lamented Peanut Butter Chunky Kit Kat, which I was saddened to see they did not have a carefully guarded stock of.
- Lunch at Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market with H. It was extremely entertaining indeed and H made me laugh and laugh. However. People who rave about Rose Bakery: did you never go to health food cafés in the late 70s and early 80s? Those of you familiar with my background as hippy scum will be able to imagine readily that I spent a LOT of time at such places, and I am telling you, Rose Bakery is one, rebranded. The heavy sludge coloured crockery. The plates of worthy salads. The ever present danger of finding a RAISIN on your plate. For all its YSL and Carven and Lanvin, I am intransigent: that place is one carob cake away from sending me into full blown flashback to the Gillygate Wholefood Shop Café, York's premier hippy-nourishing venue. Rose Bakery, though, is filled with beautiful people who do not look as if they have made their own clothing out of boiled felt coloured with vegetable dyes and you eat your grated carrot surrounded by some of the most beautiful, covetable and eye-gougingly expensive pieces of clothing in London. Also, the staff look attractive and well-nourished, unlike normal health food café staff, who invariably look like they have a lifetime of heroin use behind them. It caused me intense cognitive dissonance.
- Trip to see my lovely friend Violet who had MADE MACAROONS, impeccable beautiful perfect ones I thought were bought, as well as marmalade cake. All this while being relentlessly harried by two - beautiful, charming, completely unreasonable - toddlers. Wow, I had forgotten how relentless toddlers are. Well, I remember in theory. I was telling Fingers about his horrendous behaviour recently, a memory triggered by someone using the phrase "cracker waiting". In our house, you cannot have a cracker, you must have a "cracker waiting", which is because when Fingers was one-ish or two-ish with the sunny, easy-going temperament of Ghengis Khan and the people skills of Vlad the Impaler, he used to lurch towards me in the kitchen every evening while I made dinner, 80cms of pure baleful malevolence, intoning "CRACKERWAITING. CRACKERWAITING. CRACKERWAITING".
This meant "Would it incovenience you greatly if I were to have a cracker while I wait for you to prepare our no doubt delicious repast?" If, for any reason, I was unable to provide the cracker, or delayed unduly in finding it, he would rend his garments, bellow, and frequently headbang the cupboard door, until I gave in. He was a terrifying infant, and several times I locked myself in the bathroom to get out of his way. Lashes asked "what was I doing?" and I was able to answer with absolute assurance "you were sitting on the sofa, completely immobile, watching 'Here Comes a Digger' for the 983rd time". Happy, happy, nervous breakdown days. Violet is infinitely more patient than I ever managed to be. She is a toddler whisperer.
- Tall Tales. Every time I do Tall Tales I am assailed with a sense of how shit I am compared to everyone else. This is honestly true, not false modesty, I really am. These people are PROPER. They are incredibly funny and clever and perhaps even more importantly, they are not paralysed by being on stage facing other people. I had a fit of microphone ineptitude on Thursday night, which meant that I ended up sitting right off on one side of the stage, sort of facing sideways, because I was too intimidated to move the microphone. I am a twat. Everyone else was brilliant. There were two I have not encountered before: Helen Arney who I am now slightly in love with. Watch this. Just do. Also this man who made me laugh a great deal. Duly blog-rolled, even though that sounds peculiar.
- a free and delicious lunch with Mrs Trefusis, which is the best kind of lunch in the best kind of company, before staggering back to the station with Japanese confectionery spilling from every pocket. I do not want any of you to be alarmed but I did not visit Marks & Spencer during my trip. I did not trust myself after the fairly recent unfortunate incident where I ended up in Westfield Marks & Spencer trying to cram the entire shop into my bag for life and had to turn to the internet to try and talk me down from the ledge of dangerous, all-consuming Marksandspencism.
- Most exciting of all I saw an Exciting Dog Incident on Kilburn High Road. I was minding my own business, admiring, from a wary distance, a giant slavering pit bull type hound tied to one of those swingy metal signs they put outside corner shops advertising, uh, the national lottery and things, when the shutters on the shop - which was a bookies (of course it was a bookies) - came down, scaring the giant slavering hound into bolting into the road, still attached to the large, clanking metal sign. It stopped traffic in both directions on the High Road, trying its very best to get itself run over, galloping round in circles with the sign bumping and swinging in its wake. At one point, a man in a white van got out of his white van to just shout random abuse at it, clearly puzzled by a traffic incident in which he couldn't justifiably punch someone and people scattered like nine pins trying to avoid being thwacked in the shins by the trailing metal sign. Eventually a man staggered out of the bookies, looking furious and shouted to no-one in particular "WHO UNTIED THE FOCKING DOG" (of COURSE he was Irish), at which half of Kilburn pointed wordlessly down the road where an exceptionally brave soul - heroic, I would say, had managed to get one foot on the metal frame of the sign and was restraining the dog from a respectful distance, jabbing an umbrella in its direction to fend it off. It was strangely brilliant, and could have ended so much worse, but I fear I am not telling it well. You had to be there, in mortal danger of being knocked unconscious by a fleeing dangerous dog and his gigantic metal weapon-cum-ineffective restraint.
It is Saturday night - the time people are statistically least likely to be on the internet* - and I am telling the internet a bathetic story about a dog running away. That tells you all you need to know, for now.
*I made that up but it sounds plausible.